I completed an MEd-TESL.
After that I became certified as a Grade 5-12 teacher (ESL) in the States.
Beyond this I will do a CELTA, and intend to self-study on Grammar (as I am terrible at understanding it, let alone teaching it).
I'll also likely do an MBA and probably a Phd at some point.
Some of these things I did for job security (and to diversify options), some to become a better teacher, others for personal development and/or even just to kill time.
I hope nobody thinks paper doesn't count in academia. But I can think of one exception .. in the uni days I met a few guys who were offered top high-paying business-related gigs in their junior year -- as a graduate or not.
Sometimes, as well, we make personal connections that would love to give us a job...if only we had the credentials behind us. [I have run into this a few times].
Ironically, also, it is in your schooling that you can make the connections to push you to the next level.
[A friend just completed his MBA and told me that he had 3 job offers from fellow students. And one of the fellas in his cohort is a billionaires son...]
Basically I think it's wise to try to cover all your bases...
The masters allowed me to pretty much double my base salary and enjoy 2.5 times the holidays I had in my last job.
It also increased my job security.
Obtaining this job (along with getting the teaching license) will also add to my resume and will ultimately also translate into a more lucrative position when I choose to make a shift.
The teaching license can (I believe) open up at least 2nd tier international schools if I wanted to shift there.
The CELTA will pad the resume, improve my teaching, I'm sure, and maybe put me just that bit "above" another candidate all things being equal.
I can also be more choosy now about what jobs I will accept.
I don't think I'll ever regret money spent or time "wasted" on/in additional studies or courses. You can always take something away from it...
I studied for the TCT Professional Knowledge Tests simply because it's a requirement strictly enforced in my area. Studying in the cheapest way possible. i.e. Self-study. I like my school, the wages, the place where I live and Thailand. No plans to go anywhere.
Seriously (if this is at all a serious forum), I disagree with the idea that teaching pedagogy in uni is a waste of time (for uni students). I learnt considerably from reading evidence-based research, both in terms of what to teach and how it is best/worst taught (how it's been taught, historically, and why changes to teaching methods have been made). I learnt from PD, too. If doing it in the classroom is the best way to learn, where do you get your ideas from, initially? Where do your instructional strategies come from - do you (re-) invent them by yourself? If experience is best, then surely learning from the successes and failures of others (including researchers) is also valuable, especially where results are (almost) universal. Otherwise, aren't you at risk of repeating the mistakes of others? Why have approaches to teaching changed over the years?
Not teaching pedagogy sounds to me like a ridiculous (I've chosen that word carefully) idea that requires considerable justification and an elaboration of what should replace it. Pedagogical courses provide you with a vocabulary so that you can meaningfully articulate to other people what it is you do in class, and why. Otherwise, when you talk to other teachers, the first thing you'd always have to do is to agree upon terms.
No pedagogical courses claim that a one-size-fits-all approach exists. Pedagogical courses give you an arsenal. 'Serious' discussions amongst teachers (which hopefully occurs on these message boards) who work in similar environments give you realistic expectations and a broad hint about what will/won't work. There's evidence-based research that helps, too.
Pedagogical courses aren't as important as content knowledge, but to say that they're a waste of time is reckless; it's not an idea widely held, for good reason.
It's always funny ( I get this attitude with parents everyday) that just because people have studied at school then suddenly they are an expert of education.
Nothing could be further from the truth
Why is it so difficult to imagine we model ourselves after (some of) our teachers? Didn't anyone used to sit in the class room and observe which of them had the magic and which didn't? Maybe I'm in the minority by not enrolling in university to party and get laid, give it the minimum effort and live off my folks for 5 years.
When I started teaching, I modeled myself on two teachers I had as an undergrad. So much so that I even used some of the jokes and lecture structures from one of the professors when teaching the same content. I didn't do it as well or as naturally as him, so I stopped--but I did grasp the idea of what he was doing and applied that to my teaching in other ways.
The point is, I learned by listening to great teachers. I don't see why this should be impossible, or even difficult, for someone who pays attention and genuinely cares about knowledge.
I'd love to see you in a classroom.